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Converting Social Conflict: Focal Points and the Evolution of Cooperation

12 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2006 Last revised: 25 Oct 2010

Peter T. Leeson

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Christopher J. Coyne

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

We examine the ability of focal points to transform situations of potential conflict into situations of cooperation. In performing this function, focal points convert "worst-case scenarios" into "better-case scenarios," which are easier for political economic systems to handle. Focal points thus contribute to the ability of political economies to perform well in the face of less than ideal conditions, enhancing systemic robustness.

Keywords: Focal points, Robustness, Cooperation, Conflict

JEL Classification: P0

Suggested Citation

Leeson, Peter T. and Coyne, Christopher J. and Boettke, Peter J., Converting Social Conflict: Focal Points and the Evolution of Cooperation (2006). Review of Austrian Economics, Vol. 19, No. 2/3, pp. 137-147, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=876493

Peter T. Leeson (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.peterleeson.com

Christopher J. Coyne

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

Peter J. Boettke

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-1149 (Phone)
703-993-1133 (Fax)

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